Proximity and Questions

  • Situation

    What do I do when my student keeps her head in her desk playing when I’m teaching and the class is doing a worksheet? She won’t answer me when I correct her.

  • Summary

    Continue to teach. Slowly walk around the room closer to her desk. Then ask a question such as “_____, which one do you think would be the easiest on this page?” When she answers the question continue with one or more questions related to the task.

  • Definition

    Standing in close proximity to a student who may be off-task, (not working, talking, playing with items in desk) and asking one or more questions regarding the task WITHOUT bringing attention to the behavior and WITHOUT giving a direction regarding the behavior.

  • Quick Facts

    • Child's Age: 6-10, 11-13, 14-17
    • Planning Effort: Low
    • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Pre-requisites


  • Process

    1. Move closer to a student who is having a hard time staying focused, DO NOT bring attention to him, simply point, or ask a question such as, “How are you doing with this, any questions?” ; “which one do you think is the easiest on this page?” DO NOT give directions related to the off-task behavior.

    2. Just proximity and questions can refocus a student.

  • Documents and Related Resources



    If you have questions or concerns about the Watson Institute’s use of this information, please contact us.